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A Warrior's Life: A Biography of Paulo Coelho [Hardcover]

Fernando Morais
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Oct 2009

Paulo Coelho is a worldwide phenomenon. At a time when he is coming up to the fantastic achievement of 100 million copies sold worldwide across all his books, his fans will be delighted with the first ever official biography of Paulo, an in-depth look at his life and work, and what makes him the much-loved author he is today.

Paulo's first official biographer, Fernando Morais, provides an exhaustive look at Paulo's fascinating and varied life, taking several years to research his subject, and interviewing everyone who knows Paulo. He weaves together the strands of Paulo's life, revealing the man behind the world-famous writer.

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August 1947. Before he became internationally known and a worldwide bestseller, he had to overcome many obstacles. As a teenager, he was subjected to the brutality of electric shock treatment in the psychiatric hospital where his parents, who took his rebelliousness as a sign of madness, interned him three times. As a member of the esoteric underworld, he was put in prison for alleged subversive activities against the Brazilian dictatorship and subjected to physical torture.

Later, Paulo joined forces with rock star Raul Seixas and together they composed songs that revolutionized Brazilian rock music. Hippie, journalist, rock star, actor, playwright, theatre director and producer of television programs, this whirlwind life came to an end in 1982, during a trip to Europe. In Dachau and later in Amsterdam, Paulo had a mystical meeting with "J", his new mentor, who persuaded him to walk the Road to Santiago de Compostela, a medieval pilgrim's route between France and Spain.

In 1986 Paulo walked the Road to Santiago, and it was there that he reconverted to Christianity and found again the faith bequeathed to him by the Jesuit fathers of his school years. He would later describe this experience in his first book, The Pilgrimage. The following year, The Alchemist, established his worldwide reputation. The novel has already achieved the status of a universally admired modern classic. Now, for the first time, discover the true story of the man behind some of the world's most loved books.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (29 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007281382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007281381
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 876,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for Paulo Coelho:

‘An exceptional writer.' USA Today

‘His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.’ Times

‘One of the few to deserve the term “Publishing Phenomenon”.’ Independent on Sunday

‘Coelho’s writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts…he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.’ Daily Express

'Mr. Coelho's talent as a writer and his exceptional ability to touch the lives of men and women across boundaries
and cultures makes him a powerful Messenger.' Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General

‘“The Alchemist” is a beautiful book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find on our doorstep.‘ Madonna

‘It’s like music, really, the way he writes, it’s so beautiful. It’s a gift that I envy above all others.’ Julia Roberts

About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read and loved authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 85 million books worldwide and has been translated into 63 languages. The recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur, Paulo Coelho was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2002. He writes a weekly column syndicated throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a chilling insight? 31 Dec 2009
Whatever I expected from this book, it wasnt this. Indeed, Paulo Coelho has been brave to allow this biography to be published. It portrays him as a narcissist bent on virtually nothing but world domination for his books. What is VERY strikingly absent - curiously so - is any in-depth look at Coelho's spiritual development. There is no attempt to reconcile or understand the relationship between the grandiose, cold man we see portrayed and the spiritual content of his writing. I was genuinely shocked by this biography and my illusions about this author shattered. I own all his books and have recommended them to many people but now I feel I have almost been duped by someone who saw a gap in the market and aimed for it in a very big way. There is something deeply unsettling about the self-seeking nature of this man's success which shuns honour, altruism and love. If you are looking for at least some insight into the phenomenon that is Paulo Coelho, it's worth a read. Just dont expect to be inspired - or to like the man when you finally close the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a look at the man behind the words 21 Nov 2009
Ever since reading THE ALCHEMIST, I have been a fan of Coelho's work. For me, his simple yet often profound way of looking at life and all that goes with it, is the main draw to his literature. So, after admiring him for so long, I was eager to read more about the man, rather than the author.

This biography by Morais is the first in-depth authorized biography on Coelho. Approximately 8 years ago, Juan Arias released CONFESSIONS OF A PILGRIM, which was organised as an interview between Arias and Coelho. Although it gave readers the first insight into Coelho's life, it was in no means as detailed as A WARRIOR'S LIFE by Morais. In order for him to gain the insight needed for such a detailed biography, Coelho gave him access to many areas of his life, including the diaries he wrote as a young boy and young man. It is perhaps because of this that makes A WARRIOR'S LIFE so successful: for the first time, you truly are able to see Coelho without the perception you have of him gained through reading his books getting in the way.
In some ways, it is an odd thing to rate a biography. Obviously the more interesting a life the subject has had, the more interesting their biography will be. But, when you are reading the biography of someone you admire, you are in danger of having your perception of them challenged, maybe even destroyed. Coelho seems to recognise this - indeed even welcomes it - as Morais states that Coelho decided against an autobiography because "it's impossible to write about yourself without ending up justifying your mistakes and magnifying your successes" (p.443, letter from Coelho to Morais). So, has my perception of him changed? Well in some ways, yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paulo Coelho, the mortal. 14 Dec 2009
The book is a very honest portrayal of one of the most famous and loved authors the world has ever seen. It can surprise its readers by the information contained in it for it discloses facts about Paulo from his past which might seem highly inconsistent with the much loved author we know today. It shows him as a human being, as a mortal, with his own failings and strengths. However, it does not take anything away from Paulo but only enhances the image of a man who, having faced numerous obstacles in his quest for his destiny as a writer never gave up and succeeded, who today is making a difference in the lives of millions of people around the globe.
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